It would seem that you are hearing certain words that no one else is. If so, then these may be voices emanating from you and not the outside world. To be certain, I would have to know more information about the nature of your situation. If these voices are emanating from you, and not from others, then you are hearing your own internal voice. That is not uncommon.
There are at least three possible explanations to explain this circumstance. The first is that you are having an inner dialogue with yourself. This inner dialogue, which we all experience, is considered one’s conscience or what some researchers refer to as some subvocal speech. This internal monologue or discourse is normal. It is like a running commentary on our lives.
Sometimes, people with depressive disorders, especially, have an inner dialogue that is negatively oriented. They are having a running commentary that is always focused on the negative aspects of themselves, their lives, or what is going on around them. This inner voice is often self-critical saying things like “you’re no good” or “you’re a loser,” and so forth.
Relatedly, a similar experience occurs among people with anxiety disorders. It’s common for people with anxiety, to experience repetitive unwanted and intrusive thoughts. These thoughts are annoying and often feel like they make no sense. As you might imagine, they can cause a great deal of distress. People report feeling as though they are stuck with these thoughts that simply won’t go away. It can be difficult to get them to go away on your own which is why treatment is recommended. Therapy can help to eliminate them. Medication can also be an effective remedy.
The second possibility is that you are hearing an inner dialogue of voices that you don’t recognize. Hearing voices that you don’t recognize is an auditory hallucination and may be a sign of psychosis. Psychosis is a break with reality and could indicate bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. People with psychotic disorders who hear voices typically describe it as a very frightening experience.
I would recommend being evaluated by a medical professional for the third possibility, which is a neurological condition. Certain conditions can cause auditory hallucinations and thus it would be wise to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if the source of the problem is neurological.
My general advice is to undergo both a mental health and a medical evaluation. An evaluation is the first step in identifying the problem.
It would also be advantageous to start keeping a journal, to document these experiences so you can provide as many details as possible to your treatment providers. The more information they have about your symptoms, the better advice and treatment they can give. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle